Vryheid: Old Volksraad and Post Office

New Republic / Niuwe Republiek, Vryheid Historical Buildings

Vryheid Old Volksraad building and Post Office The first meetings of the “Nieuwe Republiek” took place in tents where it was decided to construct a permanent building. on 14th November 1884 the building contract of the Government office was awarded at a value of £205, to be build out of natural materials. The proposed location being Landdroststreet

on the 1st of June 1885 President Meijer addressed the meeting of the Assembly: “After lengthy and heavily tried months in which we were obliged to continue our activities in tents, where it was almost impossible to have them performed, we have now the privilege to gather in this new building,although it has not been finished completely”  The building was finally completed in 1885  at a cost of £250. The Building served as both the Volksraad and the Magistrates Courts. From 1894 to 1906 the building was used as the Post Office and later as the Police Station before becoming the office of State Veterinary’s Office. In 1936 it was declared a National Monument and 1938 turned into a museum. It was the fifth building in Natal and the sixteenth in South Africa to become a National Monument. It is one of the oldest museums in Natal. (text partly from Battlefields Route website)

This photo was taken some time after the previous one  (the notice board is gone and trees grown almost to roof height)








New Republic Goal and retaining wall behind the Voklsraad Building (Photo 2011)





Postmasters of  Vryheid

Jan H Viljoen (volunteer no 70 or 644  both with same initials).  On 14 Nov 1884  he  became Resident Justice of Peace  (Resident Vrede Regter – R.V.R)  His responsibilities  included  trusteeship of orphanage, the conducting of marriage ceremonies and the office of postmaster. Viljoen as R.V.R was the person, who as  first Postmaster, established a regular postal service between the New Republic and the outside world. He resigned on 1 May 1885

Antonio De Vletter  

Dirk Douw Bierma     

(site under construction)